Smatterings: March 2014 Vol I


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Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | TIME-MANAGEMENT & EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP

If you know me, you know I love spreadsheets, automation of everyday tasks, being on time, being organized, and making hard things easy.

Stemming from all the inquiries I get, seems like many of you also like these things but perhaps aren’t the best at them.

Well, good news!

I’m teaching a Time-Management & Efficiency workshop!
More info/register

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | LIFE OF YES! SLEEPAWAY CAMP

Deadline to apply is March 16th!
If you answer yes to one, some, all of these, Life of Yes! (LOY) Camp is for you—

  • Does the idea of expanding your social circle sound appealing?
  • Does doing something for yourself sound unusual, needed, nice?
  • Are all your friends getting married, having babies, moving to the suburbs?
  • Do you feel your relationships are surface-level, that there’s not a lot of substance to them?
  • Do you feel stuck in a rut?
  • Do you feel alone?
  • Do you want to belong, to feel a part of a community?
  • Have you done everything you’re supposed to do – the job, the condo, the schooling, the significant other – but still feel something is amiss?
  • Would you like to say YES! more?
  • Would you like to be around people who say YES! more?
  • Are you tired of feeling bad about yourself because you’re ______?
  • Are you tired of trying to impress others, of being someone who you’re not? Would you like to be yourself, around other people being themselves?
  • Are you looking for an answer to “What am I passionate about?” “What do I want to do?”
  • Are you ready to move on from and let go of past lows, disappointment, frustration?
  • Do you wish you had more confidence in yourself?
  • Are you tired of being fearful or of feeling like you’re sitting on the sidelines watching life pass you by?
  • Do you want to be doing something else professionally?
  • Do you have an entrepreneurial itch?
  • Do you find yourself constantly being envious of others’ lives?
  • Are you ready for a change?
  • Are you hard-pressed to think of anything you’re good at?
  • Do you think  you have a superpower or two that may be of use to others?
  • Do you feel like you’re treading water, constantly moving but never getting anywhere?

LOY Camp is designed to equip you with a way of thinking and a community rooted in you getting as much as you can out of your life. 

A weekend filled with habit-, value-, and courage-development activities, in an environment where you feel at home with people you just met…

Check out the details.


Here at GiveForward, we’re changing the way families and friends support their loved ones during times of medical and financial need.

We put our customer at the center of everything we do and we believe in creating unexpected joy. We’re a growing Chicago tech start-up that values empathy over ego, talent over title, and collaboration over documentation. We’re redesigning and rebuilding our entire product experience across the web, mobile, and social channels. It’s an amazing opportunity to make a significant impact in the emerging development of crowdfunding and to solidify our position as a leader in the industry. And best of all, your expertise will truly change people’s lives through the products we create.

As an Interaction Designer you’ll be in the middle of coming up with the best experiences for users across multiple platforms, Web / Mobile Browser / Native Apps / Facebook. You’ll be working alongside our Engineers, Designers, Product Managers and other Interaction Designers. You’ll lead and contribute to developing concepts, detailed comps, prototypes, and testing with real users. We are also a highly collaborative environment so designs in a vacuum don’t fly, you’ll need to create designs that make sense to our internal peeps.

As a System Admin (Dev Ops) you’ll be in the middle of building out a new platform for the next generation of mobile / web products. You’ll be working on a daily basis with our Engineering and Product teams as we iterate our way forward. You should be excited about cloud based environments (Amazon / Rackspace) and also familiar with more traditional managed hosting. We are an agile group (1 week iterations) so experience with release engineering tools is required.

Apply here

One Medical Group would like to invite you to our free Healthy Happy Hour on March 26th!

Meet the doctors from One Medical and learn how we’re improving the lives of patients in Chicago and beyond with our high-quality, high-touch, high-tech approach to primary care.

Join us from 5-7pm at our Loop location (181 W Madison) to unwind after work and enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres, and the chance to win a Fitbit and other healthy prizes.

All attendees will receive a special offer from One Medical (worth $50). We hope you’ll agree that this happy hour is just what the doctor ordered.

Simply RSVP to by March 11th.
We hope to see you there!

One Medical Group – – 181 W Madison Street, Suite 3825 – 312-219-2230

Office space available from a Cheese-It!

Attention freelancers & small business owners!

Northside office space for rent immediately as part of our larger office area at 4410 N Ravenswood.Details & photos:
•private office, secured & furnished
•part of a larger office space in rehabbed brick & timber industrial loft
•steps from the Montrose Brown line stop, few short blocks from the Ravenswood Metra stop
•rent includes all basic utilities (HVAC, water, internet), shared use of kitchen, meeting area, lounge, printer/scanner/fax, & endless coffee!
•120 s.f., spacious enough for two, if interested in sharing with a coworker
•price varies by lease terms, number of renters etc.
•contact with questions or interest


Submit Your Music for Chicago Artist Resource Video. $500 Honorarium

Associate Editor – Travelzoo

Creative Writing Grants Available: Apply Today
The Luminarts Cultural Foundation is awarding young writers with $5,000 and Fellowship opportunities. Luminarts Fellows are also eligible to apply for project grants to support opportunities for career enhancement, residencies, master classes, exhibition expenses, professional travel, and more.

Creative Writing Program EligibilityApplicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old at the time you apply
  • Be enrolled in, or have graduated from, a degree program
  • Live within 150 miles of the Union League Club of Chicago

Production Coordinator – Old Town School of Folk Music

The Fix for Apple’s Scary OS X Security Flaw Is Here

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | “HOW TO LIVE A LIFE OF YES” WORKSHOP

“What a truly wonderful experience. From start to finish, Saya made sure everyone had everything they needed for a great evening. Impressive to meet so many interesting people from all over the globe all interested in bringing more goodness into their lives. The class was extremely well thought out and full of laughter and useful information.”  – workshop participant

See pics of previous workshops

More info and register for the next one

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | Life of Yes! MEETUP

Chatting with strangers on couches and armchairs about how to live a full life – professionally, socially, romantically, whatever-ally… Sharing of resources, ideas, and overall positivity. 
*NOTE: Meetup is having trouble with their website; if it doesn’t work now, check back a bit later*

How to drive across the USA hitting all the major landmarks…

There’s No Unsend Button: Avoid These 6 Major Texting Mistakes Most Guys Make

2014 house design trends

Why Your To-Do List is Broken and How You Can Fix It


**Mac & Cheese Stamp of Awesomeness!**

Run by a Cheese-It.

Are you scared of speaking in public?
Tired of losing arguments?
Do you love to discuss and debate ideas, but rarely get the chance to do so?

Consider participating in WordPlay: Debate for Grownups.

Conceived by Ellie Bahrmasel and taught by national champion competitor and coach Jeff Hannan, the course will teach the fundamentals of argument, persuasion, and delivery, and will more or less be incredibly fun.

This is a great opportunity to try your hand at a new skill set, perhaps embrace a fear or two, meet new people and spend some of your free time in a productive way.

The class will meet at Chase Park on Mondays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm starting March 24th through June 2nd.

WordPlay will also be celebrating the completion of the class with a live debate, tentatively schedule for Friday, June 6.

Show off what you’ve learned with your friends, family and a few strangers over a few pints and appetizers.

Cost for the 10 week session and culmination event is the ridiculously low price of $125.00!

Significantly cheaper than one steak dinner, this rewarding experience will continue to pay for itself long after the 10 week session concludes.

Ready? Good! Sign up here and do it now.

Class space is limited – we mean it, and not in a gimicky infomercial way.

We want to create a safe, intimate space so each person has the room to really explore what debate is all about.

We can all agree that could be difficult with forty people crammed into one room! All registered participants will be invited to join us for a meet and greet on Thursday, March 20th.

Help us spread the word and share with any friends (or frenemies) that may be interested in participating in this unique experience.

Contact Ellie Bahrmasel with any questions or concerns.


19 Things America, Canada, And The U.K. Cannot Agree On

Coke’s Solution To The Social Media Problem

I am a Man and I Like Musicals

The Cutest Video: Babies Discovering Things for the First Time

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | POTLUCK! (A SMORGASBORD OF IDEAS)

Potluck! (A Smorgasbord of Ideas) brings together several of Chicago’s best and brightest, funniest and handsomest, wittiest and engaging-est for an evening of rapid fire musings on whatever they choose to muse upon.

Each presenter talks about whatever he/she wants, for six-minutes.

No actual food involved.

Check out the lineup for the next one!
And buy NOW, we sell out.

Curated by Mac & Cheese Productions and TeamPete

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | MINGLER

Low-key, no pressure meeting others in a relaxed environment.
Everyone comes solo. 
Held in a Roscoe Village loft. 
MORE INFONext one is –8:30pm, March 21st
$15 + snack/drink to share

To sign up, email me that you’re interested in attending and I’ll let you know if there’s still space!

You know you should be setting aside money for that credit-card debt/house down payment/’70s-era Vespa that will bring you more joy than there are stars in the sky.

But contributing to a savings fund can feel…daunting.

That’s why we’re so pumped up on SavedPlus, a new app that automatically transfers money from your checking account to your savings account every time you make a purchase.

Here’s how it works: Upon enrollment, you securely link up your primary checking and savings accounts (it’s OK if they’re at two separate banks). Then decide how much you want to save each time you spend–anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the purchase amount. From then on, every time SavedPlus detects a debit from your checking account, it will transfer the corresponding percentage from your checking to your savings.

For instance, say you set up a 10 percent savings rate. If you spend $75 on groceries, $7.50 will automatically go into your rainy-day fund–without your having to lift a finger. (Big purchases–say, $700 airline tickets–make you save even more.)

The service is entirely free (SavedPlus doesn’t take a cut) and you can adjust your contribution amount at any time. All of which makes this a pretty genius way to routinize your savings.

Via PureWow

10 Hottest Coffee Shops in Chicago

10 painfully obvious truths everyone forgets too soon

The Best and Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

Use the “Yes… And” Negotiation Technique to Get Better Hours At Work

7 Common Email Mistakes That Kill Your Productivity

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Meeting the Love of Your Life

Our 13 Best Travel Tips

Easiest Brussels Sprouts Recipe You’ll Ever Make

Chicago magazine is on the hunt for the city’s most eligible men and women.

I got this ‘honor’ a few years ago (pic below), fun to do just for the photoshoot —

Single in Chicago? We Want You!

8 Words Not to Use in Your OKCupid Profile

The Art of Being Broken

Google rolling out one-click unsubscribe to Gmail users

One of my favorite scenes in Chicago…

Live Lit is Great

Get Your Teeth Checked

Battling Generations of Body Shame

Be Part of a Creative Clique

Twitter I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down


I’m looking to hire a Full-Time account manager / operations marketer. The person should live in the Chicago area. I’d consider an outstanding person outside Chicago. Here’s a link to the job description.

This is mid-senior level and pays middle/high five figures with benefits. It’s a good fit for a senior person re-entering the work force or somebody with less experience but great skills and smarts. Character, business skills and attention to detail is more important to me than relevant experience.

How to Write a Professional Bio For Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & Google+


4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier

7 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once In Your Life

Love to travel?
Love to blog?
Or even better… both?

Join us March 14 – 16, 2014 at the historic Palmer House Hilton in Chicago for the Women in Travel Summit, the first and only travel blogging summit by and for women. Meet other female travel bloggers, connect with brands, build expertise and engage in the global sisterhood of traveling women. Full weekend tickets start at $149 for bloggers and $299 for brand reps. In addition, Chicago-based women can take advantage of our single day pass for just $99.

Learn more at our website

Also, check out our 3-minute video to convince you further that WITS is where you want to be from March 14 – 16:

We hope to see you there!

If I know you and would recommend you, feel free to ask me to do so.


How to get a busy person to respond to your email

The 5 Types Of Friends Everyone Should Have

Your old record collection. Many, many pairs of snow boots. Every September Vogue since 1996. What to do with all the random stuff in your house that seems to make it through every well-intentioned purge? How about shoving storing it in a cool industrial chest ($689) or shipping cabinet ($794)?

We love these massive, colorful containers from new Lakeview shop Wrightwood Furniture. They’re sturdy and functional, and casual enough to feel right at home in a rec room or finished basement.

Wrightwood sources its products directly from factories around the world, shipping the pieces to Chicago and cutting out middlemen to keep prices low. (New stock arrives roughly every two weeks.)

The owners’ aesthetic is rustic and comfortable–you’ll find lots of distressed finishes and nubby fabrics among the end tables, ottomans, dressers, chairs and benches.

We were also drawn to the store’s impressive collection of decorative Indian pillows and poufs. They’re nicely priced (pillows start at $21, poufs at $92) and perfect for our Gypset-inspired living room.

Wrightwood Furniture, 3036 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-687-9210

Via PureWow

If I know you and would recommend you, feel free to ask me to do so.
Apprentice Animal Keeper 


I Wish I Worked With This Man…He’s Hilarious

Host / Producer, Vocalo, Chicago Public Media

TV Series Are Blowing Into Chicago to Stay

Mac & Cheese Productions Goodness | FEAR EXPERIMENT (FE)

“Fear Experiment is my third favorite concert . . .  behind Michael Jackson and Cher.” – audience member

“Fear Experiment was such an incredible show that I was moved to tears at certain parts. I think part of why it’s such a cool thing is because every single person in that room has been or is afraid of something, and we could instantly relate to everyone on stage . . .  and then were also instantly inspired by them because there they were, facing their fears, in front of a giant audience. It was such a well put-on show that I can’t wait to see (or maybe sign up for) the next one.”  – audience member



In 29 days, a group of once strangers now friends will challenge themselves like never before —

They will perform dance and improv, art-forms that admittedly scare them and perhaps are not the best at, on stage at the Park West in front of hundreds.

This is a culmination of three months of rehearsals, which participants embarked upon alone as one of the criteria of Fear Experiment is that you sign up solo.

Come be inspired!

If you’re considering applying to a future FE, attending the show is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (and taken into consideration when applicants are selected)

More info/buy tickets

HowAboutWe’s Founders Redefine Online Dating — And What It Means to Be a CEO


11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo
March 14th & 15th | 10am – 4pm
at the Chicago Cultural Center
Learn More

16 Things Only People With Unique Names Will Understand

5 Tips to Help You Kick Sugar in a Week

10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America

The Princess Bride cast reunited 25 years later…

How many times this month have you stared hungrily out the front window, dreaming of all the wonderful things you could have–a stiff Manhattan, a gourmet hot chocolate, a bag of Illy coffee–if only you could convince yourself to brave the subzero temps again?

Now you can sink back into that warm couch and order up everyday essentials (you know, like Vosges chocolate-chip pancakes), thanks to a new app, Foxtrot.

Foxtrot is the invention of two Chicago entrepreneurs who couldn’t understand why, after a long day of work, there was no service that would deliver cocktails to their office.

So they started one themselves. Foxtrot offers drink fixings, from bottles of Bulleit bourbon and Ketel One vodka to mixers and limes, plus an assortment of foods and dry goods like Oberweis chocolate milk, Stumptown cold-brew coffee, Jeni’s ice cream and Chipotle chicken burritos. You can also get fresh produce, salad and even a 12-ounce Niman Ranch strip steak.

Prices for the products are similar to what you’d pay at your neighborhood corner store, and the delivery fee is a flat $5–tip included.

Via PureWow

5 Secrets To Make People Like You

BIG & little’s Now Open in Lakeview

22 Inspiring Acts of Kindness That No One Ever Talks About

5 Important Questions to Help You Figure out What You Really Want

What Your Poop Is Telling You About Your Body (Infographic)

Goats Play On Metal Sheet (VIDEO)

To watch!

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through Dalton, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.

Why Does It Feel Good to Poop?


This Man Will Show You More In One Minute Than You’ll See In a Lifetime. Seriously.

Downton Abbey: Watch the 8 funniest parodies

One Man’s Journey: How I Stopped Watching Pornography and Why I’m Not Going Back

7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People

**Mac & Cheese Stamp of Awesomeness!**

Glass classes in fusing, beadmaking and casting are now online at

Join us at our beautiful, warm and friendly studio in Ravenswood this winter!

Our classes are for everyone: beginners, hobbyists, families, teens and artists.

Private parties, rental time and memberships are also available.

Go online or call Leslie for more information. 216-543-2329

That’s it, folks! Hope you enjoyed this issue.

Use someone’s services in Smatterings and LOVED them? 

Went to an activity suggested in here and LOVED it? 

Have some other positive come out of Smatterings?

Let me know!

That fuels me continuing to do Smatterings twice a month.

Check out upcoming Mac & Cheese’ness; we’d love to have you join us!

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